How to Improve Mobile Phone Security: 5 Crucial Steps You Must Take Right Away

13 Sep, 2019

How to Improve Mobile Phone Security: 5 Crucial Steps You Must Take Right Away

We hold our world in our phones and our world revolves around them. No doubt, these devices provide functionalities more than any other gadget in history; from clicking pictures to managing bank accounts to even controlling the cars — phones have brought revolution.

But this revolution comes with a price. The price of a surge in phone-related cybercrime. And that’s the reason ensuring your phone’s security, nowadays, is indispensable. So here are some crucial and practical steps you must take to guard your phone against any digital threats.

1. Update the OS

The operating system vendors often come up with new updates for better performance and security. They update and fix any vulnerability issues, and that’s the reason you don’t want to neglect the system’s update notification.

However, many users find installing updates a daunting task and choose to use an outdated version. This negligence might result in a terrible situation. As per a report, about 6% of the mobile devices are affected by bot attacks. That’s about 538 million phones worldwide. To make sure your device is not one of them, don’t ignore the update reminder and keep your phone’s OS up to date as often as possible.

2. Use Phone Lock or Biometric

We use our phone for almost all trivial to critical tasks. From scrolling the feeds on social media to bank transactions. So a phone without a lock might be an open invitation for an intruder to exploit your data. 

In fact as per a report, one in four breaches in the financial services sector was due to lost or stolen devices. This stat should be enough for you to consider setting up the screen lock as the first thing. And the good news for those who find typing down the passcode inconvenient is that your modern devices come with fingerprint and face. So there’s no reason to keep your phone without a screen lock.

3. Avoid Installing any Apps from Untrusted Source

Many times we are drawn towards downloading unknown third-party apps that are not available through official app stores. Such apps are prone to be injected with malicious code that can steal your phone’s data including contact details, email addresses, device information and more. 

As per Google, Potentially Harmful Apps (PHA) are the most significant threat to users. Most of the time these malicious apps are available through untrusted third-party app stores. And installing them should be avoided at all costs. Always keep a practice to install apps only from trusted stores such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Additionally, users should always check the reviews and comments on the app page to be on the safer side. 

4. Avoid Using Open Public WiFi

Free access to public WiFi at airports, cafes, restaurants or any other outlets has been a big rescue to cut data costs. And for many working professionals these free WiFi points have come up as a boon. However, apart from the utility that the public WiFi provides, there are many risks associated with it. 

These free WiFi points being unencrypted are a great opportunity for hackers to break in the unsecured devices on the same network. They can use these WiFi connections to distribute malware and infect your mobile phone. Even worse, a hacker can position himself between the connection and your phone that would let him access every information you send on the internet such as — emails, credentials and passwords. 

One way to secure yourself whenever using an open network is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It will protect you from any malicious intruder trying to pry on your browsing activities and make the browsing secure. You must also ensure you are not accessing non-HTTPS sites that are prone to man-in-the-middle attacks. 

5. Use a Vault App

Using a Photo Vault app that hides your personal data such as photos, videos and notes provide a double layer of security. These apps hide your personal data and lock it behind a PIN. 

Private Vault is one such application that you can use to hide and lock your confidential data and add a layer of security to it. It comes with several features such as folder lock that locks individual folder and private note that allows you to save confidential notes behind a pin. The best part is, it super simple to use and you can safeguard your data within a few steps. 

Some Other Steps You May Consider

The above are the basic things that will help you to secure your phone. Apart from these, logging out from applications and websites after use — such as banking apps — must be practiced. Also turning off the ‘remember me’ and autofill feature will provide you with more security.

Your mobile phones are more than a device for communication. It holds your personal, work, financial data and much more — it is your identity. Any carelessness towards its security can have dire consequences. So if you haven’t taken its security seriously yet, it’s time to do it now. 

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